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One solution is a lens with a built-in light. The light doesn't need to be very powerful since it is very close to the subject.


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If you're so close your ring flash doesn't bear on your subject, you're pretty well limited to side-lighting the subject. One option might be a diffusion ring attached to the ring flash. A ring of LEDs, might also do the job, if central light on a near-flat surface facing the lens isn't critical. Depending on what kind of catch light is acceptable, you ...


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The flash works by discharging a capacitor into a xenon tube, when ionized by a very high voltage pulse to allow conduction. The energy, E, stored in a capacitor is E = CV²/2. Because of the square factor, it's much more productive to increase V (volts) than C (capacitance). With C = 750 µF, V = 283 Volts, you get the 60 Joules of a typical high end cobra ...


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